“A lot of people have been justly offended by the Solyndra scandal, in which the Obama administration squandered $535 million in a failed solar-energy company backed by one of Obama’s largest donors. But $535 mill in failed loans is chump change for this administration. Obamacare, according to the White House, will waste over $3 billion on faulty loans to state-sponsored health insurers called CO-OPs.”

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“Medical specialists are urging regulators to slow implementation of an initiative funded by the 2010 healthcare law that aims to streamline care for some low-income elderly and disabled patients. “

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“In 1993, Augusta passed coverage laws that resemble those that ObamaCare is about to impose nationwide: Insurers could only vary premiums within narrow bands regardless of age or health status, a regulation known as community rating. Four of Maine’s five insurers in the individual market stopped offering coverage and fled, and the state entered an insurance ‘death spiral’ in which premiums don’t cover underlying medical costs. That leads to higher premiums, consumers dropping coverage as a result, and still higher premiums in turn.”

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“As part of writing ObamaCare, they decided that all “stakeholders” should contribute something, but changes to the ordinary corporate tax code wouldn’t raise enough money and would have hit many other innocent bystanders in manufacturing. So they chose an excise tax. About the only exemptions are for things that retail consumers buy directly, such as contact lenses or hearing aids.”

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“Many small businesses struggle to afford health insurance for their workers, but a a new tax credit meant to help them seems to be turning into a disappointment. Although opinion polls show the credit is one of the most popular ideas in President Barack Obama’s health care law, only 170,300 businesses out of a pool of as many as 4 million potentially eligible claimed it in 2010, about 4 percent.”

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“If liberal supporters of the health-care law were as confident of the merits of their position as they claim to be, they would offer actual legal arguments, based on text, history, structure and precedent, instead of labeling justices with whom they disagree as hypocrites and partisans.”

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“This case thus illustrates a serious danger latent in the “comparative effectiveness research” approach taken by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: mass studies of how different treatments affect large swaths of people are not likely to pick up the subtleties and nuances in treatment effectiveness that can vary from person to person based on a whole range factors that determine each individual’s unique biochemistry.”

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“[T]he only sure way that we’re going to
bend the cost curve is by coming up with fundamentally new ways to deliver
healthcare services that improve efficiencies and enable us to get more medical care
for each dollar we spend. These ideas are going to come forward the same way
better ideas have always arisen – from start-ups backed by entrepreneurs,
supported by investment capital, coming together in search of profits. Yet PPACA
contains provisions that I fear tilt against these kinds of innovations. The legislation
relies instead on arrangements that could serve to entrench existing players.”

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“HSAs prove that having more control over health care decisions goes a long way toward creating savings. Instead of building on this successful cost-saving model, Obamacare all but obliterates it. Many provisions of the law affect HSAs. For example, the medical loss ratio (MLR), which requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent (85 percent for group plans) of premiums on medical claims or quality improvement, weakens HSAs. Obamacare’s MLR does not take contributions to HSAs into account when determining if a plan meets the 80 percent threshold.”

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On Monday, e21 sponsored a discussion, moderated by National Journal’s Major Garrett, between Charles Blahous and Jared Bernstein. The topic was Blahous’ recent paper entitled “The Fiscal Consequences of the Affordable Care Act” (published by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University). Click through for post-debate commentary from Jim Capretta, to watch the video, and read the presentations.

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